Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All the Dogs of My Life” as Want to Read:
All the Dogs of My Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All the Dogs of My Life

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  120 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
From Bijou, her very first dog, to Chunkie and Knobbie, her favourite, and last, canine companions, Elizabeth von Arnim takes us through the complex journey of her life. From her Pomeranian idyll (encapsulated in her first novel, Elizabeth and Her German Garden) to less happy days in London following the death of her first husband; from the solitude of her Swiss mountain ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published April 3rd 1995 by Virago Press (UK) (first published 1936)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All the Dogs of My Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All the Dogs of My Life

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 17, 2014 Caren rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
After reading "Elizabeth and Her German Garden", I wanted to find out a bit more about the author. This book isn't strictly an autobiography, since she sticks pretty closely to accounts of the dogs who had shared her life, still there are enough tidbits about her to make you wish for a more thorough book about the rest of her life. While she did seem to love her dogs, I was bothered by the callous attitude toward a few of them, most notably the dog who was neutered, grew fat, and seemed to lose ...more
Arlene Allen
Sep 01, 2012 Arlene Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
I have fallen wildly in love with Von Arnim's writing this year; her stories are warm, witty, sweet and yet profoundly insightful. In her personal life, Elizabeth suffered greatly; even though she chooses not to call this an autobiography, but a biography of her canine companions, and does not touch for long on her tremendous personal loses, she was no luckier with her dogs than she was in other aspects of her life. This had moments of such intense sadness that I had to put it down for days at a ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Suzanna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of Edith Wharton and Annie Dillard
"I subsisted, so to speak, on cats."

Luminous, literary, and funny. I'm not sure why more people aren't reading Elizabeth von Arnim. Her books are among my favorites, and this is the closest thing she ever wrote to a true memoir. One life, fourteen dogs, with spaces in between for children, husbands, and cats.
Jun 22, 2008 Teresa rated it it was amazing
I love this woman's style of writing.
Oct 23, 2009 Bunny rated it it was amazing
Von Arnim at her best. A lovely book almost an sutobiography - I'd love to read a full autobiography - told through the times surrounding the dogs she owned, how she felt about them, what happened to them, and all of the friends, lovers and houses that they encountered. Highly recommended.
Aug 03, 2011 BA rated it really liked it
A favorite.
Celia Kaltenbach-crotteau
While wandering through a used bookstore in a university town, I discovered this book, and more by Elizabeth Von Armin, on a low dusty shelf and bought several to try. I started with this memoir/autobiography, to learn more about this writer I had never heard of. She writes with a polished style that is both self-deprecating and witty and, at times, oddly forlorn. Intrigued by what she didn't say as well as what she did, I did some online research and discovered that Elizabeth Von Armin was a ...more
Ej Rice
Jan 08, 2012 Ej Rice rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of my favorite books of all time. Written by Elizabeth von Arnim (who went on to write Enchanted April) it tells the story of her amazing life through the various dogs she owned over the years. Every person I've loaned it to has loved it, and that number is easily a half dozen or more.
Sep 21, 2014 J.E. rated it liked it
An amusing non-autobiography; the author gets around discussing her marriages, the First World War, etc. by writing only about the times she had dogs. Unfortunately, since humans outlive dogs, this also means a lot of sad ends.
Aug 29, 2009 Kurtamyd rated it it was ok
I was hoping this was a true autobiography but alas, it's just a history of the author's beloved four footed friends.
Jessica Hatchigan
Aug 15, 2012 Jessica Hatchigan rated it really liked it
Elizabeth von Arnim was a bestselling writer in the early 20th century. I enjoyed this recounting of her life told through her relationships with various dogs.
Amanda rated it liked it
Nov 26, 2016
Lorraine rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2013
Jul 02, 2014 Jane rated it it was ok
Silvia rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2015
Cathleen Schine
Cathleen Schine rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2013
Hase Cäsar
Hase Cäsar rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2015
Katharine rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2012
Patrizia Eger
Patrizia Eger rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2014
Kathy Boyle
Kathy Boyle rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2016
Barbara Mitchell
Barbara Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2015
Colleen rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2011
Wayne Kavanagh
Wayne Kavanagh rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2010
Duncan Lejtenyi
Duncan Lejtenyi rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2014
Miss rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2012
Aug 11, 2008 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Michele Myer
Michele Myer rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2015
Richard rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2013
Mizzo73 rated it liked it
Oct 11, 2009
Grace Brooks
Grace Brooks rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Minding Animals: Awareness, Emotions, and Heart
  • Appointments at the Ends of the World: Memoirs of a Wildlife Veterinarian
  • It's All About Treo: Life And War With The World's Bravest Dog
  • The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston
  • Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life
  • The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts
  • Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs & Israelis 1956-78
  • The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories
  • Where the Blind Horse Sings: The Uplifting Story of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and the Animals Who Call It Home
  • Lost and Found: Dogs, Cats, and Everyday Heroes at a Country Animal Shelter
  • Lizz Free Or Die
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds
  • Ethics on the Ark: Zoos, Animal Welfare, and Wildlife Conservation
  • The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living
  • Horse of a Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner Since Secretariat
  • The Old Meadow
  • Love My Rifle More than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army
  • Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille
Elizabeth, Countess Russell, was a British novelist and, through marriage, a member of the German nobility, known as Mary Annette Gräfin von Arnim.

Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in New Zealand while her family resided in Sydney, Australia, she was raised in England and in 1891 married Count Henning August von Arnim, a Prussian aristocrat, and the great-great-great-grandson of King Friedrich Wilhelm I
More about Elizabeth von Arnim...

Share This Book

“Tanto per cominciare, vorrei dire che sebbene genitori, mariti, figli, amanti e mariti siano tutti una gran bella cosa, non sono cani.” 1 likes
“Alteri e distaccati, eternamente rapiti in remote, misteriose meditazioni, [i gatti] si concedono all'altrui adorazione ed è difficile che diano qualcosa in cambio. Eccetto le fusa.” 1 likes
More quotes…